Coal, Gas, O&M, Renewables

El Paso Electric’s Kipp to take CEO reins at Puget Sound Energy

Mary Kipp

Puget Sound Energy has named El Paso Electric CEO Mary Kipp to succeed its CEO Kimberly Harris upon her retirement next year.

Kipp will join the Seattle-based utility as president and report to Harris and then take the CEO reins in January when Harris departs.

 “In Mary, we have found a uniquely qualified leader who brings deep industry experience and shares our commitments to customers, to clean energy, and to being a key part of the community,” said Scott Armstrong, PSE board member and chair of the board’s search process.

“It’s been such a tremendous honor to lead the team of 3,200 employees at PSE,” said Harris, who has been at the helm for nearly 10 years. “I’ve loved each and every moment. And I’m so excited to welcome Mary to the region and the team. She embodies our vision and values and will be an incredible asset to the team and to the customers and communities we serve.”

“PSE is at the center of one of the most dynamic regions in the world,” said Kipp. “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime to be able to join the team and lead their efforts to serve such an amazing area, to be part of their transition to a clean energy future, and to ensure PSE is our customers’ trusted energy partner. I look forward to continuing the wonderful work done by Kimberly and her team.”

Kipp has been CEO of El Paso Electric (EPE) since 2015, and president since 2014. She led EPE—also a 100-plus-year-old company with a deeply-rooted community history—as they’ve changed to serve a diverse customer base spread across a mountain west region and growing border communities. Today, EPE is 100 percent coal free, with a focus on growing renewable resources in balance with their customers’ ongoing needs for affordability, safety and reliability.

Kipp has been with EPE since 2007, holding roles throughout the company including regulatory and rates, risk management, human resources, external affairs, customer care, environmental and safety. Prior to that, she was a prosecuting attorney for FERC for four years, investigating and prosecuting violations of federal energy laws. Kipp also worked as a lawyer at El Paso Natural Gas Company and at Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Kipp holds a number of leadership roles outside of EPE. She is chair of SEPA (Smart Power Electric Alliance), the deputy chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, chair of the Borderplex Alliance, and on the executive committee of the Texas Business Leadership Council. Kipp received her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Williams College in Massachusetts, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law, and is an alumnus of Exeter College, Oxford University.

Harris has led PSE as CEO since 2011 and was named president one year before that. He also has served in leadership roles for the American Gas Association and on a Washington state task force for carbon emissions reduction.

“It’s been such a tremendous honor to lead the team of 3,200 employees at PSE,” said Harris, who has been at the helm for nearly 10 years. “I’ve loved each and every moment. And I’m so excited to welcome Mary to the region and the team. She embodies our vision and values and will be an incredible asset to the team and to the customers and communities we serve.”

Puget Sound Energy has about 1.1 million electric and 840,000 natural gas customers. The utility’s generation mix includes hydro, gas, wind power and coal-fired generation.